Lawsuit filed to keep Lee statue in Charlottesville

The Robert E. Lee statue in Lee Park. Image Credit: NBC 29 WVIR-TV

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Several pro-monuments groups are filing a lawsuit against Charlottesville and its City Council in order to prevent the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue from downtown.

Media outlets report that the Monument Fund, the Sons of Confederate Veterans and about a dozen private citizens announced the lawsuit Monday.

The council voted 3-2 last month to remove the Lee statue out of Lee Park.

The plaintiffs argue that the city violated a state law that protects war memorials and violated the terms of the deed in which donor Paul Goodloe McIntire granted the memorial to the city. The lawsuit will seek a temporary injunction to “freeze the status quo” in Lee and Jackson parks.

City Attorney Craig Brown says he hasn’t yet discussed with councilors whether they will attempt to prevent the temporary injunction.

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